Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is the main magical institute of United Kingdom. It is located in a forested area in the highlands of Scotland next to a large lake. If muggles approach the school, it will appear only as a run-down and abandoned building with a sign reading 'Do Not Enter'. It is also unplottable on a map. On the Hogwarts crest is their motto, "Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus," which means "Never tickle a sleeping dragon." The current headmaster is Professor Albus Dumbledore.
Location and History
Founding the School
Sometime before the year 1000, four of the greatest witches and wizards came together with a revolutionary idea. These four, also referred to as the "Hogwarts Four", decided to start a school which would educate young magical folk about their unique powers. The Hogwarts Four consisted of: Godric Gryffindor, Salazar Slytherin, Helga Hufflepuff, and Rowena Ravenclaw. Each founder had very different ideas of what makes a successful wizard or witch and thus each founded their own house (named after themselves) within the school. This separation worked well for many years with each founder selecting the appropriate students to their house, but eventually the differences of opinion forced Hogwarts Four against each other. This was especially true for Godric Gryffindor and Salazar Slytherin. Eventually, Salazar Slytherin simply left the school.
Building and Grounds
Hogwarts School and the grounds are highly protected, and no apparation is allowed on school grounds. The fireplaces are floo-accessable, but can only be used for conversation, not transportation.
Around the Campus
On the south side of the castle is a large lake which is home to the famous giant squid, Merfolk, and various other magical creatures. On the north side of the castle is the town ofHogsmeade. The Hogsmeade Station, where the Hogwarts Express train arrives, is on the far side of the lake and connects to the town of Hogsmeade by a road that circles the west side of the school. After their first year, students travel this road in carriages pulled by thestrals. First year students travel to Hogwarts across the lake in small boats. From Hogsmeade, a short path leads to the front gates of Hogwarts. On either side of the gate is a sculpture of a winged boars. A tall stone wall surrounds the entire campus of Hogwarts.
The Quidditch Pitch lies to the west of the school and is accessible by descending a sloping expanse of grass. On the opposite side of the road, is the Forbidden Forest which is a great expanse of trees. No students are allowed to enter the forest except for rare chaperoned trips. The forest is home to a wide variety of magical beasts, some of which are raised by the Hagrid. In front of the forest is the wooden one-roomed hut of Rubeus Hagrid, the Hogwarts Gamekeeper and Keeper of the Keys. To the side of this cabin is a small pumpkin patch in which grows the large pumpkins used for the Halloween Feast. Also in front of the forest, but to the south of Hagrid's hut, is the infamous Whopping Willow. This tree attacks anyone who gets near it by thrashing its large branches. Underneath the tree is the hidden entrance to the Shrieking Shack in Hogsmeade. Also on the grounds of Hogwarts are the greenhouses that are used for Herbology classes. These are located between the Forbidden Forest and the castle. Several gardens are placed beside the greenhouses and grow a variety of crops.
The stone castle of Hogwarts is quite large with many towers, turrets, and passageways to give it an almost scary appearance. The entrance is a set of large wooden doors which face the west. Underneath the great castle are many dungeons and a network of passageways which are accessible by a door in the Entrance Hall. Several important rooms lie here, including the Potions classroom. This room is large enough for at least twenty students with cauldrons and is colder than the rest of the castle. Professor Severus Snape's office and private storeroom is adjacent to the classroom. His office is always dimly lit and has a variety of unappealing or unidentifiable objects floating in glass jars around its perimeter. The Slytherin common room is reached by a complicated system of passages and a hidden door concealed behind a stretch of blank wall. The Hufflepuff common room is also located in the dungeons near the kitchen. The kitchens are located directly below Great Hall and are the exact same size. House Elves are employed here and transport the food magically to the tables above. The door to the kitchens is hidden behind a painting of a bowl of fruits and can be opened by tickling the pear.
The Entrance Hall is found directly behind the oak front doors. It is a vast, high-ceilinged room with stone floors a wide, majestic marble staircase directly opposite the doors. On either side of the staircase is a door which leads to the dungeons. To the right are double doors which open into the Great Hall. To the left is a corridor which branches into several classrooms. A broom closet is located on the right side of the hall. An important feature in this hall is a niche in a corner opposite the stairs which contains the large hourglasses responsible for recording House Points.
The Great Hall is perhaps the most important room in the entire castle of Hogwarts. This is where students meet for everyday meals as well as celebrations for holidays or the initial sorting ceremony. At the far end of the room is the staff table which is elevated above the rest of the room. Perpendicular to this table are the four student tables, one for each house. From the left, they are Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Gryffindor. Several large windows face the front lawn of the school. A small antechamber can be found to the right of the staff table. The staff room and the office of Argus Filch are also located on the ground floor. Filch's office is a shabby little room with many file cabinets listing the misdeeds of every student.
The first floor is home to many classrooms used for subjects such as Muggle Studies, Defense Against the Dark Arts, and History of Magic. Also on this floor is the Hospital Wing. This is a medium-sized room with many white-sheeted beds and privacy screens. Madame Poppy Pomfrey's office is within the hospital wing. Professor Minerva McGonagall's office is just up the stairs and down one corridor on the first floor. From her windows she can view the Quidditch Pitch.
The second floor houses the office of the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher . This room changes occupants quite often and is decorated differently for each professor. The lake is visible from this room. A suit of armor can be found just outside this office. An out-of-order girls' bathroom is found on this floor. It is usually avoided because it is the haunt of the ghost of Moaning Myrtle. Because of its infrequent use, it is run-down and rather unpleasant.
The third floor is home to the Charms classroom. It's window overlooks the road leading to the castle. The Trophy Room on this floor and houses many awards, trophies, and lists of head boys and girls. An armor gallery is adjacent to this room. On one corridor is a statue of a humpbacked witch. By magically opening her hump, a mischievous student will find a secret passage into the basement of Honeydukes in Hogsmeade.
On the fourth floor, hidden behind a tapestry is a staircase which leads to another tapestry two floors down. This staircase has a trick step which traps the unknowing user. The Library is found on this level and is fiercely guarded by librarian Madam Irma Pince. This large room has many shelves which house thousands of books on various magical topics. The books are protected with spells that make them unable to be stolen or defaced. The restricted sections contain books about dark magic which is off-limits for students unless they have a note from a Professor. Sixth and Seventh year students studying advanced Defense Against the Dark Arts are allowed to access this section. The library closes at 8:00 pm.
The prefects' bathroom is on the fifth floor and is only available for prefects with the appropriate password. The door to this room is located next to a statue of Gregory the Smarmy. The deep bathtub inside is the size of a swimming pool and has a number of taps which each dispense a different kind of bubble bath. The Transfiguration classroom is on this floor, as is the Ravenclaw common room entrance is located behind a landscape painting.
On the seventh floor, Room of Requirement is found across from a tapestry depicting Barnabas the Barmy. This room adjusts to suit the occupant's particular need. The door is not always visible and only appears by passing the wall three times and thinking of a specific need. The Gryffindor common room is located on this floor behind the portrait of the Fat Lady.
The Divination classroom entrance is on this level in the base of the North Tower. In the ceiling of this room is a trapdoor that hides a ladder which leads to the classroom. The classroom is round, dimly lit, and usually warm. Several squishy armchairs and little tables are spread throughout the room. The Headmaster's office entrance is found in an otherwise empty corridor behind a stone gargoyle. With the correct password, this statue moves aside to reveal a winding staircase. The windows in this office overlook the Quidditch Pitch and the walls are filled with portraits of past headmasters and headmistresses. During Dumbledore's days many objects fill tables and shelves around the room. Fawkes the phoenix resides on a perch within the office as well. Professor Filius Flitwick's office is on this floor.
The tallest tower of Hogwarts is the Astronomy Tower where Astronomy classes are held. It overlooks the front lawn. The Headmaster's office and residence is one of the towers. The North Tower houses the Divination classroom and Professor Sybill Trelawney's office. The West Tower is the Owlery. It has high walls with hundreds of cubbies housing all types of owl breeds. The windows are without glass to allow the owls to freely travel, but it makes the room quite drafty. The Gryffindor Tower houses the common room and dormitories for the Gryffindor house. The Ravenclaw Tower houses the common room and dormitories for the Ravenclaw house.
Students are divided into years by age, with the youngest students starting their first term at age eleven, and graduating at age seventeen or eighteen after completing seven full years of education. Required lessons start at first year, and others are optional after the third year.
In their first and second years, students are required to take a set course list including:
- Defense Against the Dark Arts
- History of Magic
- Flying (for first years)
Starting in third year, students may choose any two additional courses each year:
- Ancient Runes
- Care of Magical Creatures
- Muggle Studies
Exams are held in June of each year for the first four years. In June of their fifth year, students take the Ordinary Wizarding Levels (O.W.L.s). The results of these exams determine what classes the student may take in their sixth and seventh years. The classes during these years are at advances levels and require a certain grade on the O.W.L.s for students to continue with these subjects. Even if a student achieves the required grade for an advanced class, they may choose not to take the class. The passing grades for the O.W.L.s are Outstanding (O), Exceeds Expectations (E), and Acceptable (A). The failing grades are Poor (P), Dreadful (D), and Troll (T).
After their seventh year, students take Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests (N.E.W.T.s).
During the school year students can gain or lose points for their house. At the end-of-term feast, the house with the most points is awarded the House Cup for the following year. Only professors and prefects are allowed to award and dock points. If merely taking away house points is not sufficient, professors can give students a detention of their choosing.
- Quidditch Club - Each house has it's own team, allowing for matches between the houses. Matches are held once a month or so, except during busy times, and resulting in a final House Cup tournament at the end of the year.
- Gobstones Club - Meeting regularly after lunch, come hang out in the great hall and play this fun magical board game! A great way to get to know your fellow students.
- Prefect Club - Top achievers in years five through seven are selected to serve in the Prefect Club, helping to maintain order in the school and patrol the halls.
- Cryptology Club - Come have a cup of tea with your favorite professor and learn the techniques and history of this clever code.
In addition to school clubs, periodic weekend visits to the local village of Hogsmeade are scheduled to allow students to socialize off campus, enjoy the local restaurants, and go shopping.
Students who have received an acceptance letter begin at Hogwarts School at the age of 11. They continue until they have completed seven academic years. During their stay, each is sorted into one of four houses - Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin. No applications are accepted for Hogwarts, as students' names are recorded at birth.
Students at Hogwarts are required to follow a strict dress code when attending classes and other school-related events. This includes:
- White Buttoned Dress Shirt.
- A gray vest with a color matching their house colors (worn during the colder months).
- A tie also bearing their house colors
- A pleated black skirt for girls and black dress trousers for boys.
- A black robe bearing their house's emblem.
- Black dress robes (for formal occasions).
- A scarf bearing their house colors is also given during the colder months.